Noah Cates had two goals and one assist to lift the host Philadelphia Flyers past the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Sunday.
Morgan Frost added one goal and one assist and Travis Konecny also scored for the Flyers (25-43-11, 61 points), who snapped a five-game home losing streak.
Keith Yandle contributed two assists and goaltender Martin Jones stopped 37 shots.
Sidney Crosby scored the lone goal for the Penguins. Pittsburgh goaltender Louis Domingue made 39 saves.
The loss didn’t hurt the Penguins (45-24-11, 101 points), who already had clinched a berth in the postseason for the 16th straight season.
The Flyers went ahead 1-0 when Frost took advantage of a bouncing puck in front and tapped it past Domingue at 15:49 of the first period.
The Penguins were quite active in the opening 20 minutes with 14 shots on goal, one fewer than the Flyers. Late scoring chances by Danton Heinin and Kris Letang were denied by Jones.
Cates redirected a slap shot from the point by Yandle at 6:49 of the second for a 2-0 Philadelphia advantage.
Following a turnover, Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel skated in all alone and fired a shot just wide at 9:06.
The game became chippy as the second period ended as Jeff Carter and Philadelphia’s Travis Sanheim were entangled in a scuffle.
Domingue made a stellar pad save on a point blank shot by Kevin Hayes on the power play in the first minute of the third period.
Guentzel came right back with a wrist shot in front. But Jones was able to stop the high shot and clear the puck.
Letang stayed aggressive and ripped a slap shot at 7:20 which wound up being Jones’ 31st consecutive save.
The Flyers took a 3-0 lead at 9:38 when Cates scored his second goal of the game and fifth of the season, this time on the power play. The initial shot was taken by Ivan Provorov and Cates got his stick on the puck while shielding Domingue.
Domingue was pulled for an extra skater with just under five minutes remaining and Crosby connected at 16:27 to close within 3-1. It was Crosby’s 31st goal of the season.
Konecny then responded with an empty-net goal at 17:26 to regain the three-goal lead.
–Field Level Media